Ipsy Glambag Product Review: Meg Twin Nail Polish in Lovey Dovey (Limited Edition)

I enjoy experimenting with various nail colors. While I equally love just about every color on the spectrum, oftentimes I find myself gravitating towards nude colors. I like their versatility and simplicity. While I have a preference for brands like OPI, Orly and Essie, I am still open to trying other brands. Meg’s Twin Nail in Lovey Dovey came in my Ipsy Glambag this month which I was excited about. I Love the packaging, and how each tiny color snapped easily into one top.

The clear, twist off caps underneath are travel-friendly spill proof. Also, getting two colors (nude & grey) is a treat!  The brushes allowed easy application, so for those who aren’t really skilled at polishing his or her own nails, this is for you! The nude color suited my skin tone perfectly. Two coats of polish are sufficient and gave full coverage on my nails. The color dried quickly to a slightly glossy finish.

The nude color looks even more beautiful with a shiny top coat. I used Ciate London Gelology top coat which was in my February Glambag! I am sure any top coat would do. However,  the grey color wasn’t my favorite, just a bit harsh on my skin tone. But at $10 for two nail colors,  I’d definitely try the others. Worn alone or mixing and matching the colors is also fun because the colors are complementary. This is a limited edition, so hurry while they last!

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Ipsy Glambag Product Review: Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow Highlighter

Lately, no one seems to get enough of highlighters. They are a staple to nearly everyone’s make up collection, and its shimmering effects can be added onto a full beat, or applied to a fresh face sans make up. So when it comes to highlighters, I am willing to try just about any brand. Of course, whenever Ipsy sends me a highlighter, I am just as excited about it as any of the others I currently use.

Before I received my Glambag, I did a little research on Elizabeth Mott’s Show Me Your Glow Highlighter. As soon as I discovered that it was sold out and on backorder, I knew I was in for a treat! Once I opened my Glambag, fishing for the pan I so desperately longed to try, I was slightly disappointed. It came in a minuscule plastic pan, which was hard to open at first. I get it, what should I expect from a sample, but geez! However, I must say that at least I didn’t have to worry about losing any products as it did come in a safely sealed container…

On the other hand, I love the formula of the Highlighter! It is highly pigmented, whether I wore it alone or over my foundation. I got the product out using my pinky finger or the tip of a blending brush. I could gradually apply more for that out-of-this world scintillating effect, or apply less for those conservative days at the office. Show Me Your Glow is also versatile, and can be worn as an eyeshadow. The full size version comes in a round compact, which retails for about $25. It is no longer on backorder (but its status subject to change due to its high demand, so hurry!!) and can now be purchased on Elizabeth Mott’s website. I will be investing in a full size because I also adore a multi-use product. I get more for my dollar. Who doesn’t appreciate that?

Ipsy Glambag Product Review: SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Face Toner

I am pretty much open to trying out new products, but new facial products make me a tad nervous. I have sensitive skin that can get easily irritated and break out at a moment’s notice. However, I was curious about SKIN&CO Roma’s Truffle Therapy face toner, because its’ something I have struggled with adding to my skincare regimen. I have read many other beauty blogs and articles stating its importance, but I still cannot get myself to be consistent with any particular toner.

Immediately I was excited at the mention of “truffles”.  I love truffle chocolates, truffle butter, and I associate anything truffle-related with luxury and good quality. So I knew this toner was going to do wonders to my skin. The packaging is good quality, something expected of a high end product. The top is gold, along with the lettering on bottle. The bottle is made of a hard plastic, which resembles glass at first glance. It is so important that luxury brands put time and effort into creating quality packaging.

The smell is quite pleasant, reminiscent of roses and citrus, but not overbearing. I applied the toner onto a cotton ball after using a variety of cleansers, from Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser to Pur-lisse’s 4-in1 Cleansing Milk. So it works well with a variety of other brands on the market. It made my skin feel clean and soft, carefully removing any residue and dead skin left behind after cleansing my face. After a week’s use, I felt my skin was noticeably soft, even, and clear. SKIN&CO Roma’s Truffle Therapy face toner retails for about $27 (Ulta & Nordstrom carry the brand), but I think it is worth the price. I am curious as to how effective the toner is when used with the entire SKIN&CO line and would be buying this once I run out.

 

Ispy Glambag Product Review: TONY MOLY LipCare Stick in Mint Light

TONY MOLY is a popular South Korean cosmetics line full of whimsical imagery and witty packaging. This month, Ipsy sent me a full-sized Liptone Lipcare Stick in Mint Light, which I was excited about. The other flavors are Honey Moisture, and Rose Blossom. The packaging is adorable, and the product was easy to apply. I love lippies and don’t have any one brand preference over others, whether high end, mid priced or discounted. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to try it.

The packaging is similar to Pantone color swatches. Pantone is known as the “global color authority”, dictates “color of the year”, and influences which colors are in trend for the year.  Also, I had high expectations because anytime a brand markets a product as having a “mint” flavor, I expect a minty experience. The lip balm has a slight minty smell overpowered with an oily scent. So, I wasn’t really impressed with that. When I actually applied the balm I noticed I had to constantly reapply, which I found off putting.

I find this unfavorable for a lip balm because reapplication made my lips drier! I’ve tried cheaper lip balms like Bert’s Bees 🐝 that have better quality, and kept my lips moisturized. I don’t believe that the LipCare stick is worth it’s $10 price tag. I wanted to give a through review of this balm anyway, so I continued to try it. I really liked the packaging and I was hoping my experience with it would improve. So, I decided to try it with lipstick. Surprisingly enough, it did work well underneath my lipstick. However, I still wouldn’t buy this. So Mint Light isn’t right for me, although I would be willing to try TONY MOLY’s other products in the future.

Have you tried the TONY MOLY brand? If so, which products have you used?

 

 

Beyoncé Announces her Formation Scholars Program

Ok scholars now let’s get in formation.

In lieu of the one-year anniversary of the”Lemonade” album, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has extended her humanitarian efforts on a collegiate capacity. Recently, Beyoncé’s official website  posted news of the newly minted Formation Scholars Program, suitably named after her hit song “Formation”. This program will award four recipients a scholarship to the following colleges or universities: Berklee College of MusicHoward UniversityParsons School of Design and Spelman College. The organization’s mission is to “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.” Scholarship candidates must be incoming, current, or graduate students who are studying music, arts, literature or African American Studies at the aforementioned colleges. Also, one recipient will be selected from each institution for the 2017-2018 academic year. Those who wish to apply should contact the participating schools for more details. Good luck to all those who apply!

Visit my original post for Level 21 Magazine’s blog here.

Pharrell Debuts Chanel’s ‘Gabrielle’ in New Campaign

A noticeably unattended, handsome young man enters a large warehouse. His cries of “hello” echo about the markedly empty space. As he scans the area, there are empty cases strewn about and spotlights in the ceiling that cast limited lighting. Suddenly, a drum plays loudly in the background by an unseen hand. The drums get louder and faster as the young man drags a trunk across the floor in haste. He’s a man with a plan, but what is he up to?

He hops onto the trunk as it glides across the floor with ease. No, wait…it has wheels! Using each stacked trunk as a stepping stool he manages to get to the top of the highest one. Now he’s  perilously walking across the rails mounted onto the spotlights! Skillfully yet carefully he uses balances himself across, gently adjusting Chanel’s latest curated shoulder bag across his torso and behind him so he can gather himself. Once he jumps back down, his inner child physically manifests and gives him a standing ovation.

The young Pharrell opens his hand to reveal the word ‘GABRIELLE’ scripted in across his palm. “Gabrielle”? The slightly-older-yet- seemingly-naive Pharrell asked. As anxiously glances around the room, he then turns around and the boy is nowhere in sight. Intuitively, Pharrell looks down at the bag draped across his body and gives an adulterated look at the camera as the any remaining innocence fades from his countenance.Karl Lagerfeld in his absolute brilliance has done it again, but for the first time, his latest creation has a man cast as the main character for Chanel’s campaign video .

Pharrell Williams, aka “Skateboard P”, master producer and artist who has such an eclectic fashion sense, so much so that the gigantic cowboy hat  he wore at the 2014 Grammys landed its own Twitter account. Quite naturally, Williams was the perfect choice for the ad. Although the announcement was made in March, the French Atelier recently launched the video, and of course, every media outlet was abuzz. What is also significant about this ad, is that the bag itself, ‘Gabrielle’, is respectfully named after The Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself. The bag’s design has Chanel’s notable quilting, butter-soft leather, and could not be complete without the double C’ we have grown to admire and envy.

Balenciaga Designs Pricey Ikea Knockoff Tote

Fashion trends are usually inspired by nature, places around the world, or even people. Luxury brands have also been responsible for leading the industry, dictating to the masses what’s hot and what’s not. Additionally, they are notable for pushing the envelope and bending the rules to deliver innovative or fabulous remakes of vintage favorites. Lately, such brands are transforming low end or everyday products as sources for inspiration to recreate more upscale, pricier updates.  But when is it excessive? some are claiming that Balenciaga has chosen discounted furniture giant Ikea as the muse for their new handbag design. Still confused? Well then read on…

Whether window shopping, dining at its restaurants or purchasing some build-it-yourself furniture, snagging one of the Swedish retailer’s bright blue plastic totes is a part of the Ikea shopping experience. Also, if you like, shoppers can even take one home for a low cost of $.99.  However, Balenciaga’s latest creation, The Arena Extra-Large Shopper, is shockingly similar to the neon blue tote,  so much so that it has gone viral on social media and internet sites are buzzing about it. But with a few minor modifications and swapping out plastic for glazed leather makes the Balenciaga version a hefty price of $2145.

The question is, who wants to skip a few mortgage payments to covet a handbag that resembles one that can be found in laundromats or car trunks everywhere? After all, isn’t the point in investing into luxury goods is for the exclusivity? While Balenciaga has yet to comment on the backlash, Ikea is totally unbothered. Matter of fact, they are quite flattered at the high-priced “imitation”. As you know, supply and demand would simply drive sales of the store’s staple shopping bag, since most cannot afford the much pricier knock-off. So this is quite beneficial to Ikea. The thing is with trends, they can go as swiftly as they come.  Does the Balenciaga bag make your must have list? Fab or fug? Sound off below:

Link to my original post for Level 21 Magazine’s blog here.

Steph Curry Displays his Dapper Side in GQ Cover Feature

In an exclusive article for GQ Magazine, Golden State Warrior’s own Steph Curry discusses rebounding from last year’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Championship Finals, prior challenges entering the league and throughout his career, as well as what expectations he has for the future. As much adoration Curry receives now, that was certainly not always the case. Upon his inception into the NBA, many critics doubted whether he had what it takes, much of the criticism based upon his physical appearance. He has heard such blistering remarks attacking his athletic prowess, while also being described as “far below NBA standard in regard to explosiveness and athleticism”. These are some of many other statements that could have potentially shattered his self-esteem or discouraged him from furthering his NBA career. Additionally, Curry even had his own doubts whether he could shatter the proverbial ceiling that loomed above him.

Rightfully so, considering that some of his teammates and opponents alike tend to tower above the 29-year-old Point Guard. With the odds stacked against him, Curry had and still has plenty to prove. His fixed,  yet gentle gaze as he seemly glides in the air over the court is proof that Curry’s moves are graceful and artistic in nature, a skill that is indeed rare even among his peers. While many of his predecessors and other NBA players have this stern, rough demeanor, Curry’s childlike innocence, and gentle disposition which some may deem a weakness has oftentimes worked in his favor. Since The Warrior’s disappointing loss to Cleveland during the NBA Finals, Curry has had time to reflect on what went wrong and what lessons he could take from that into the future.

He remarked during his GQ interview that “I gave it a lot of thought, and it was like a recurring nightmare for a while. But then, you know, you live your life and do your thing.” But will that be enough this time around as the team faces the inevitable meeting with the Cavs this year? His optimism and focus may certainly drive The Warriors to a Championship. His level of dedication and personal responsibility was instilled in him at a young age. With a modest upbringing in quaint Charlotte, North Carolina and NBA veteran Dell Curry as his father, Curry learned the value in being true to himself, and respecting others, especially women.  His religious background has also contributed to him being the disciplined and driven individual Curry is today. After all, he is the first NBA player to historically receive an unanimous vote for 2015-16 Most Valuable Player, which in itself seems divinely orchestrated. Championship loss or not, Steph Curry stays winning.

Read my original post for Level 21 Magazine here.

A Preview to Ipsy’s April ‘SideShow’

As an Ipsy monthly subscriber, I get five sample or full sized cosmetic products for about ten bucks (pre-tax, pre-shipping). While some months, I am pleasantly surprised at the selection, other months I find myself glancing at the products in dismay, then tossing the Glam Bag somewhere (hence no recent reviews about the past couple of bags). That aside, I know that no brand is perfect and since they have wonderful customer service,  I continue to be a loyal customer.

Anyhow, when I got April’s Glambag, I was excited, although I found out what I was getting via the Ipsy App that allows you to pretty much view the products you should expect in your bag instead of waiting until the bag arrives. First, this month’s bag looks like a carnival ticket, which I adore, because novelty bags are so cute and fun! This one I will definitely use. They also allow us to stay in touch with our inner children. We should never lose them. After all, they pretty got us to where we are today!

Secondly, I like the selection of products, which are a variety that I can truly appreciate. I received a full-sized LipTone Care Stick by Tony Moly in Mint Light and Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Angle Brush. I also received sample-sizes of the following: Truffle Therapy Face Toner, Elizabeth Mott’s Show Me Your Glow Shimmer Shadow & Highlighter and Meg Twin Nail Colors in Lovey Dovey.

I am really excited about each product (especially the toner, angle brush and nail colors) and will post my reviews soon, so stay tuned!

Also, if you are also an Ipster, please feel free to share what goodies you got in your Glambag this month!

Coachella 2017

As the ink from Coachella 2017 dries in the history books, performers showcased their music all week as Lady Gaga headlined and closed the show last night with her energetic performance, pounding the MainStage just before midnight. But, what I truly live for are the fashions worn during the week-long cultural and musical event. Usually celebrities are fixtures throughout the festivities, while fans and foes alike take to social media (unless lucky enough to attend) to see what ensembles and trends we should look for in the upcoming season.

Cowboy boots, ripped denim and floral prints are repeated staples worn to Coachella, while most women tend to trade in stiletto heels for Chucks and gladiator sandals so they can comfortably cover the grounds. Here are some of the notable trendsetters seen about Coachella who tend to never disappoint: Actress Yara Shahidi, more popularly known for her role on Blackish, donned a flowing, off-the-shoulder- floral frock with comfy flats and off course wild, beautiful curls being as free as can be.  Slum dog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto wore high-waisted olive pants barely hugging her rock-hard abs and a cropped blue top with a black hat covering her tousled hair and flat ankle strap sandals.

Socialite and Boss Babe Paris Hilton who dares to defy fashion limits whether you like her or not, was seen at Coachella with her whimsical, rainbow striped maxi dress complete with matching cat ears, soft pink ballet flats and signature long mane. Style maven and talented singer Solange Knowles, who can never do any wrong in my eyes when it comes to fashion, replete in a head-to-toe lace coral pantsuit and hair that defies gravity.

With a freshly cut pixie, Singer Katy Perry takes the athleisure approach with a sports bra, track pants and an eye-catching, technicolor fur, complete with lime green sunnies. Another trendsetting queen, Amber Rose arrives with NFL baller Odell Beckham Jr. wearing a form fitting bodysuit with larger-than-life accessories splashed strategically against a black background, with her trademark buzz cut blond tresses and pink glossy lips. Beckham Jr.’s distressed denim, blond curls and mix-and-match neon laces paired well with Rose’s outfit.

Rihanna’s style was my absolutely favorite. I believe that she has established herself as a young fashion icon who continues to add elements of surprise as we could never figure out what the singer, actress and designer dares to wear next. This year, the Bajan beauty wears an outfit none like any other Coachella attendee. Gucci’s latest creation: a crystal cat suit radiantly glistening  underneath denim cut off shorts revealing the pockets, and her killer long legs. She effortlessly is draped in an off the shoulder Gucci tank, wearing an ebony black razor cut bob haircut with her hazel eyes concealed behind dark shades. Of course she wore a pair of platform leather sneakers from her SS17 FENTY x Puma Collection. Combining cool with couture, Rihanna has set the fashion standard quite high.